BERKELEY — Senior tailback Marcus O'Keith, arguably Cal's top recruit in the class of 2002, knows he isn't going to land a spot in the university's athletic Hall of Fame. But for him, spending four years at one of the country's top academic institutions, plus contributing to the climb of
"I think about that sometimes," O'Keith said. "But this has become like a second family to me ... all the friendships I've made ... the ups and the downs." He has 700 career rushing yards in 111 attempts, but may not increase that total in the 109th Big Game against Stanford on Saturday. He has a "turf toe" injury that might keep him out of the game. "It's about 50-50 right now," O'Keith said. "This is my last Big Game, and I would like to go out and play in the last one. But it has been too painful." “'Keith hurt himself returning a kickoff Nov. 4 against UCLA. "Somebody hit me from the side, and my toe stuck in the ground. I guess I tore some ligaments," he said. Even if O'Keith sits out the Big Game, he should be able to play in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28. "That's the thing," O'Keith said. "I could try to play, but if I go now, I could reinjure it." O'Keith has averaged 24.4 yards a kickoff return this season and has six tackles on special teams.
SAY IT AIN'T SO: Lynch, a junior, said the Big Game on Saturday will be especially emotional for him. "I will be playing with the seniors for the last time (at Memorial Stadium)," he said. Will Lynch, who figures to be one of the top selections in the NFL draft in April, also be playing his last game at Memorial Stadium? "You guys ..." Lynch said with a laugh when reporters asked if he was trying to make some kind of announcement. "... I'm not going anywhere." Yeah, right. Lynch smiled as he walked away.
EXTRA POINTS: Although USC earned national respect by beating Notre Dame, Cal cornerback Daymeion Hughes said it was of little consolation to the Bears, who lost to the Trojans a week earlier. "They demolished Notre Dame," Hughes said. "But it doesn't make me feel any better or any worse." ... Stanford's last win at Memorial Stadium came in 2000, 36-30 in overtime. ... A